RADAR is two poetry collections in one, a double header featuring new work from Nathan Curnow and Kevin Brophy.
It is truly a double. My poems are (seemingly) conscious, direct confessions and yours are unconscious waking dreams.
- Nathan Curnow
This world always senses another world. Maybe your poems rescue mine while mine throw a life line to yours.
- Kevin Brophy
'... what makes Radar so interesting is its conjunction of the two kinds of poetry. True, they are not two kinds of poem by a single poet: but then that is not uncommon and always seems rather stagey. At the same time if they were “unconnected” poets they would just be representatives of two different approaches to dealing with the world in poetry. There is something finely tuned and right about the fact that the two poets have a mentor/student relationship as well as a friendship one.
MARTIN DUWELL, Australian Poetry Review, 1st December 2012.
It is not that multi-authored poetry collections are so unusual, but rarely do they share a title and a sense of being in dialogue such as they do here. This is the first, and perhaps the loveliest, achievement of this book. In announcing such dialogues about different ideas on the relationship of language to reality and different stylistics, it also openly explores the creative bond between poets at different stages in their practice. In doing so, it cuts through the notion of the poet as soloist to show in very real terms that what we make is always shared, and always down to complex interrelationships with other writers, both living and dead. In the sometimes fractured field of contemporary Australian poetry, this collaborative sensibility is a privilege to encounter.
LUCY DOUGAN, Sotto, November 2012.
Curnow’s collection appears first. The impulse here is over-archingly autobiographical, often tongue in cheek, venturing from family poems to flights of fancy that spark and crack with incisive originality. Brophy’s is more academic in flavor; the poems often have at their core some research, some moment in time that illuminated Brophy’s imagination and set his mind slithering though the laneways of possibility. While Curnow seems to sing, perhaps Brophy whispers – when someone whispers you are more likely to believe what they say.
LUCY ALEXANDER, Verity La, February 2013
In Radar by Kevin Brophy and Nathan Curnow the tender realism of Curnow's domestic derangements are coupled with surrealistic meta-prose poems by Kevin Brophy. The difference and similarities between their tropes is suggested by Brophy's 'Alice's Husband Invents Radar' where distance and delay comically shifts the meaning of language towards the unpredictable. Brophy's prose in Radar is challenging because it speaks to us from the in-between spaces, between rooms and objects, from the marginalia of Sigmund Freud's 'Dreckology' to Mary Oliver's 'cottage of darkness'. These poems are not imaginary symbols but are paragraphs or semicolons on the verge of being shot or vomited or expectorated; they make lucid 'what your mind can do that your body cannot imagine.' Curnow's topographies are also an aporia, an antidote for the loss of ideals, bruised and intrepidly articulated.
MICHELLE CAHILL, 'Aspects of Australian Poetry in 2012', Westerly 2013.